Atlantic Salmon Conversion - Global FlyFisher

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Atlantic Salmon Conversion


Raske's New England Streamers

By Bob Skehan


Although the subject of this article may seem like heresy to dedicated tyers of classic atlantic salmon patterns, I thought it might be a fun exercise this winter to adapt some of these classic patterns to New England streamers. It was indeed a challenging and enjoyable tying experience.

Lady Amherst

  • Thread: Black
  • Hook: Mike Martinek Rangeley Streamer, English Size 1, 8X
  • Tag: Fine silver oval tinsel, then light orange floss.
  • Tail: 2 Golden pheasant crests, curving upward.
  • Butt: Peacock Herl
  • Body: Flat silver tinsel
  • Rib: Fine oval silver tinsel
  • Belly: White bucktail, slightly beyond hook bend.
  • Wing: 4 White saddle hackles
  • Shoulder: 2 Lady Amherst pheasant neck feathers.
  • Throat: White hackle fibers, tied short
  • Cheeks: Jungle cock, veiled by Blue Chatterer substitute, tied short.
  • Topping: Golden Pheasant Crest

Green Highlander

  • Thread: Black
  • Hook: Mike Martinek Rangeley Streamer, English Size 1, 8X
  • Tag: Fine silver oval tinsel, then yellow floss.
  • Tail: 2 Golden pheasant crests, curving upward.
  • Butt: Black Ostrich Herl
  • Body: Rear 1/3: Yellow floss, Front 2/3: Green floss.
  • Rib: Flat silver tinsel
  • Belly: Green bucktail, slightly beyond hook bend.
  • Wing: 2 yellow saddle hackles, flanked by two slightly-shorter green saddle hackles.
  • Shoulder: 2 Golden Pheasant pheasant neck feathers.
  • Throat: Yellow calf tail, tied short
  • Cheeks: Jungle cock
  • Topping: Golden Pheasant Crest

Converting The Patterns

Full dress salmon patterns typically have a complicated wing assembly consisting of married strips of quills, veilings, and toppings. I decided on a few general guidelines for these conversions:

1. The body materials pretty much matched those called for in the classic patterns with a few variations. The Lady Amherst salmon pattern has a palmered hackle but this was eliminated due to the length of the 8X long hook, and a general impression of this material was adequately given by the white bucktail.

2. Wings on the resulting streamer matched the general color scheme of the classic atlantic salmon pattern. For patterns such as the Lady Amherst and the Butcher, this was fairly easy to do. I decided early on after looking at the classics that many either had two equally dominant colors, or one dominant color and a secondary, or hilight color. For these patterns, I decided that the wings would consist of a long pair of one color, flanked by a pair of slightly shorter hackles of the second color. This served a dual purpose on the Jock Scott adaptation, which uses a white-tipped black turkey feather as the base for the wing.

3. The throat (or belly) of the streamer consisted of bucktail that was the same color as the classic pattern throat. If that wasn't practical, a color was selected that was the same as, or complemented the color scheme used in the wing.

4. Tailings and Toppings were added using the same material called for in the classic pattern, though the strict proportion rules of matching the tips and "framing" the wing wasn't practical for long flies. I decided to approximate this frame shape with the tailing and topping, but allowed the wing to extend beyond the joined tips by sandwiching the tailing between the hackle wings.

Butcher

  • Thread: Black
  • Hook: Mike Martinek Rangeley Streamer, English Size 1, 8X
  • Tag: Fine silver oval tinsel, then yellow floss.
  • Tail: 2 Golden pheasant crests, curving upward.
  • Butt: Black Ostrich Herl
  • Body: Yellow floss, rear 1/3, red floss, front 2/3
  • Rib: Flat silver tinsel, then fine oval silver tinsel butting against trailing edge of flat tinsel
  • Belly: Red bucktail, slightly beyond hook bend.
  • Wing: 4 Red saddle hackles
  • Shoulder: Married strips of yellow, red, then blue goose shoulder.
  • Throat: Blue hackle barbules
  • Cheeks: Jungle cock
  • Topping: Golden Pheasant Crest

Jock Scott

  • Thread: Black
  • Hook: Mike Martinek Rangeley Streamer, English Size 1, 8X
  • Tag: Fine silver oval tinsel, then yellow floss.
  • Tail: 2 Golden pheasant crests, curving upward.
  • Butt: Black Ostrich Herl
  • Body: Rear 1/3: Yellow floss, Front 2/3: black floss.
  • Rib: Flat silver tinsel, then fine oval silver tinsel butting against the trailing edge of flat tinsel
  • Belly: Black bucktail, slightly beyond hook bend.
  • Wing: 2 white saddle hackles, flanked by two slightly-shorter black saddle hackles.
  • Shoulder: Married strips of yellow, red, then blue goose shoulder.
  • Throat: Guinea Hen
  • Cheeks: Jungle cock, veiled by Blue Chatterer substitute, tied short.
  • Topping: Golden Pheasant Crest

5. Shoulders added to these patterns were a major wing component of the classic salmon pattern. In the case of the Lady Amherst and Durham Ranger, the lady amherst and golden pheasant tippets are the dominant wing component. For the Butcher and the Jock Scott, I thought that married strips of goose shoulder, present in the composite wings of the classic patterns would serve to break up the solid wing color and dress it up nicely. It's also a nicely-tapered shape that gives the resulting pattern a sleek look.

6. Miscellaneous "hilights" of the classic patterns that would adapt directly to the long flies, such as the Blue Chatterer(substitute) cheeks were added when deemed appropriate.

Durham Ranger

  • Thread: Black
  • Hook: Mike Martinek Rangeley Streamer, English Size 1, 8X
  • Tag: Fine silver oval tinsel, then yellow floss.
  • Tail: 2 Golden pheasant crests, curving upward.
  • Butt: Black Ostrich Herl
  • Body: Rear 1/3: yellow floss, Front 2/3: black floss
  • Rib: Flat silver tinsel, then fine oval silver tinsel butting against the trailing edge of flat tinsel
  • Belly: Orange bucktail, then black bucktail, slightly beyond hook bend.
  • Wing: 2 orange saddle hackles, flanked by two slightly-shorter black saddle hackles.
  • Shoulder: Golden pheasant tippets.
  • Throat: Light blue hackle barbules
  • Cheeks: Jungle cock, veiled by Blue Chatterer substitute, tied short.
  • Topping: Golden Pheasant Crest

 

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